Home » Industry » Tap Into Informal Sector, Banks Urged

Banks should come up with innovative products to lure funds from the informal sector, the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has said. An estimated $7 billion is circulating outside the banking system, far more than the $4 billion thought to be in hands of banks. BAZ, an association of banks, says the banking sector needs to come up with innovative products and services to help attract the enormous funds informally held outside banks. This, it says, would help boost national savings critical in efforts to turnaround the economy.

“The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe has identified the low national savings levels as one of the structural challenges facing our economy.

“This economic hurdle must be overcome if the short-term nature of deposits in the country’s banking system is to be addressed. This can only be addressed if as a nation we develop a culture of saving, and this is with the informal sector in mind,” it said.

Some banks have crafted some products targeted at potential clients in informal sector. For example, CBZ Bank has a facility that puts little emphasis on account balances, one of the conditions which scare away informal sector clients from banks.

In December last year, the bank launched a product known as SmartCash, which has no minimum balance and is free of service charges. Agribank has also created a Unifund account aimed at drawing informal sector clients..

New Ziana

Source : The Herald